From the Desk of John Rourke – October 8th, 2015

Situation: It just came across the news it has been discovered that a recently launched satellite from North Korea is believed to be armed with nuclear weapons. Governments across the world demand it to be dismantled or destroyed. Talks of increased “sanctions” and “pressure” flood the airwaves and South Korea threatens military action.

3 hours after the initial news North Korea activates the satellite and launches two missiles as it passes over the United States. There is no news of this. The US military has no time to launch a counter.

united-states-map, EMP


At 01:20am EST the two missiles detonate over two areas. The first 150 miles over Wyoming. The second approx 150 miles over Cincinnati, OH.

An electromagnetic pulse covers 90% of the continental United States disabling 75% of electronic devices.  The specifics over which devices were affected and which were not is not consistent. A variety of factors cause most modern vehicles to become disabled while others remain unaffected. This goes for all electronic devices.

Communication is extremely minimal as the vast majority of radio and television stations are non-operational. There is no Internet and no phone service of any kind. While many people are sleeping and will not discover that a crisis is at hand until morning.

You are wide awake and understand what has happened.

Here is the question: What do you do?

In this exercise pick any amount of time and describe your actions, your decisions – the steps you feel you would take in the face of this unprecedented event. Leave a comment with your description.

This is going to be fun…..



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  1. 1st: Rejoice that I will never be taxed again.
    2nd: Thank Christ for all the government employees that I will watch starve to death.
    3rd: Dance while all the drug addicts both legal and illegal go crazy for a fix that isn’t there.
    4th: Slap my wife sideways knowing there isn’t one damn think the law can do about it.
    5th: Shoot the neighbor’s bark all night dogs.
    6th: My preps and I are going to the river: screw the limit.
    7th: Thank God each and every morning for North Korea.

    • Your first response: awesome
      Your second item: same thing.
      Third point: I totally agree.

      I disagree with 4,5, and 6, but completely with #7.

  2. Wow salt, add some vinager to your recipe, or was it honey my grandma recommended? Hmm, something to think about for sure…. Four this is a interesting thing to contemplate for sure as I’m sure most of us have came to this conclusion, I’ve given this some thought, as I’m a (bug out) kind of guy, as I’m not retired or have the resources as of yet to have a off grid location, I’ve set up a mountain bike with a in tow game trailer, with never flat tires, as well as replaced inner tubes on bike with silicone tubes, so I’ll grab bob as well as my 1911 45 and 556, two cans 1000 rounds each, 2000 cash in small bills and work my way to the most remote area I can get to. Sadly I don’t have catches set up for the set up for these circumstances, but I do have a jeep wrangler 1988 and a cage set up with all electrons to replace everything on my jeep I’m hoping this will protect anything I want to protect, which means I will be able to replace my electrical system on my jeep as well as my 60 gallon gas reserve, at 21 miles per gallon hopefully I’ll make it to the mountains in this case I’ll be set up for year if not….I’ll parish along with the rest of the 90% of The population …. What will you do? Man, I’m not liking my odds, but I realized a long time ago, you cannot plan for every scenario, but I also know you must prepare within reason!

  3. Since fallout is not an issue, there’s nothing that needs immediate attention. Additional preparation is now OBE (overcome by events).

    Activate our “doomsday plan”. Don’t panic (there will be plenty of other to do that for you).

    Personally, I hope my preparedness is such that I can just make the coffee, sit on the porch, and watch the show.

    • I like your last line:

      ‘Make coffee, sit on the porch, and watch the show’.

      If you lived closer to me, I’d invite you over for my post-EMP buffalo rib cook-out.
      We have a nice wooden swing on our newly redone porch; I keep my volcano grill within arm’s reach to it’s left. The ultimate lazy man BBQ experience.

  4. I will be wondering, will anyone be smart enough to start deactivating the power plants before they melt down and send radio active fallout everywhere ? The nuclear powered ones ???

    • That is a good question Duncan as unless the power plants remain functional enough to accomplish what you suggest there would be no notification and no time.

    • I have a theory that since the nuclear reaction that is ongoing with them also generates a lively little set of EM, that they may already be hardened against an EMP.

      I’ve also heard that the power plants failsafe for the rods is gravity, meaning that they push the nuclear material up to activate. Upon loss of ability to sustain, they fall on a guided path.

      All theory though… your potassium iodide dose may vary!

  5. What do I do? Nothing, Texas has its own electrical grid not connected to the rest of the United States so I doubt we would have trouble immediately.


    • TexasScout – as part of the scenario with 90% of the country effected Texas is hit just like everyone else. Unfortunately the grid is down in your area as well.

  6. Remove HAM Radio’s from Faraday Cage, and install batteries. Check in on family and friends. Secure as much water as possible. Gas up the generator, and start processing all food in the freezer. Drain fuel from the modern cars we own and treat with Pri-G for storage. Put someone on watch, start communicating with neighbors to help them understand the significance. rearrange furniture in house as planned and make up a watch schedule. Have a nice dinner with my wife and kids.

    • That is great Brad M and along the same lines of my own reaction to this fictional event. I am going to write up mine likely this weekend in detail.

  7. Hypothetically, if Texas somehow was affected. Get up wondering why it’s either cold or warm in the house depending on the season. Slowly discover there is no power in my house or anywhere in the neighborhood. Turn on wifi card to get internet and realize it has no power. Attempting to turn on all devices in the house and realize their dead to. Slowly start think something more severe has happened. On a fearful hunch pull one of my Baofeng’s out of the Faraday cage, turn it on, and hear the national broadcast. Because this has just happened and there are no cars to worry about, for now.

    – Activate plan. Gear up, get out mountain bikes, attach small pull along trailer with supplies, me at the front of the column, kids in the middle, and wife bringing up the rear. All weapons accessible thanks to my CHL and Texas now legally open carry. Ride with family over to the Combat Medic’s house who is in our group. Make a pot of coffee getting ready to bug out and getting mentally prepared. Good thing we started building renewable food. It would’ve been impossible to bring all that other stuff and would’ve been a waste of money I could’ve used for something else. Even though most of our stuff is now in a secure location with someone from our group now living on the property.

    – Wait with medic listening on HAM radio’s for the rest of the group to check in. After waiting for a few hours when the average person should be up, whether they check in or not. Then move to pre-designated rally point. Follow planned steps before starting en route to main location where all our supplies are waiting. Following OPSEC on the way, before entering the property, and securing the location waiting on anyone else who did not meet us at the rally point.

    • Awesome Capt. Michaels – just what I was looking for. You mentioned Ham radio’s. Have you guys done much experimentation with homemade repeaters of any kind to increase the range of your personal radio’s?

  8. More importantly, what I would not do is think that it was all over and start getting my emergency electronics out. There could very well be a follow up blast. Living at least 1000 miles from the closest blast, I would start preparing to shelter for any radiation that made it here. I would immediately disconnect the power from the house. I would get out one of the shortwave radios and start monitoring it for any info. Install the storm/security covers on the windows and doors. Once all of the covers were installed, all additional preps would be done from inside the house. If the water was still flowing, I would have the wife filling every bucket and topping off the rain barrels in the garage. We would then start moving what we needed for five days into our secure storm room in the center of the house. We would then sit tight and continue to try and get info about the damage and any additional risks coming our way via the shortwave. Hopefully our outside security cameras would still be working, so we could monitor what was happening around the house and on the road out front, but I would not count on it.

  9. Assuming I am in the States (about 50:50 chance recently): Go about my normal day at the ranch (south Texas) – check on cows, horses, and goats, feed chickens, check fences, monitor northbound illegal alien traffic across our land (monitor is a nice safe word for our general approach to this issue), perhaps climb the windmills and grease the bearings (thought the grandkids would deal with that chore by now, not happening), check in with the neighbors (1947 Jeep or much newer Kubota will not be affected by any possible EMP effects), make certain the generator and solar systems are keeping the beer fridge operating properly, and wait for the kids, friends, business associates, and poker buddies to eventually show up. Generally, stay out of the wife’s way until she gets over her Amazon and Netflix dependency. Life down here is slow and steady, electricity is a significant bonus not a vital necessity.

    If I’m not in the States – make the situation conform to my needs as my Ranger instructors taught me back in the 70’s.

  10. Pretty much what a couple of others have indicated. Get the radio out of the faraday, fix breakfast, go about a normal routine. Naturally, be very watchful. On a side note, many times I have seen references to a ham radio put away for the emergency, assuming it is simply “plug & play”. No, it isn’t that simple. Get your ham license, (it isn’t difficult) and practice! Join a club, participate in public events that mimic emergency comms, get used to using your radio(s). For example, I participate in comms for a variety of public events; parades, fireworks displays, races, etc. I recently worked a comm site for the Twin Cities Marathon. Good practice changing frequencies on the fly, moving locations, checking in with more than one “net control” operator, etc. You really need this if you expect to effectively communicate in a disaster.

  11. My response would be similar to some of you. (Woodchuck) makes a good point. I would say a prayer for some of those I know that can only survive with medical machines (Dialysis, Respirators, Pacemakers, O2 generators) my brother is on dialysis four times a week, he knows he is on the short list.

  12. About like everyone else. Once I am up and find the power out, either use the gas stove or fire up the old Majestic wood burning cook stove to fix breakfast. Check on the chickens and the outdoor cat. If the power is still out once all this is done, pull out the hand held HAM radio to check around. Since I am not going to bug out I’ll keep a close check on the area.

    Wait to see what happens in the cities before I start closing up. I live on 18 acres away from most folks. If necessary I start pulling out the plywood to close up the downstairs windows and doors. Drop selected large trees across the access roads into my place and place other access denial devices etc. to deter unwanted visitors. Check out all weapons to assure everything is loaded out and placed strategically around the house.

    Since the food, the fuel and water are already in or immediately available, I’ll just go about my life as usual, except now I’ll be armed at all times plus have a rotating guard schedule established for the extended family who will crash at the homestead.

    While the winters won’t be a problem here in the South, the Summers will produce a lot of whining from the grand daughters and wife. They’ll just have to get used to it. I grew up with no AC and so did the wife. Sure, it’s a little uncomfortable, but you can live thru it. The only thing I have a problem with is refrigeration. Will have to adapt to alternative food storage…i.e…plan on what you’re going to eat with the idea there is no refrigerator to store left overs which means you only cook what you need and eat what you cook. That ought to be a real eye opener for the grand daughters and son-in-outlaw.

  13. What will we do?

    Laugh and thank the Lord that we never have to go to work again. The new job? Surviving!! Yippee!!!!!
    Time to play with all the toys.

    Second thing we do is remove portable DVD player from faraday box, and watch ‘Firefly’, while eating the buffalo ribs (grilled over my volcano grill) that I have been saving in the freezer for exactly this moment.

    Would be the most bestest day ever.

  14. Taxn2 I hope u were joking re your wife. Hitting a
    person is NEVER ,EVER ok.

    I would try to contact our son and family on our two way radios-which most likely might not work.
    I would pray for all those worse off than we are and send
    mental communication for our kids to get home a.s.ap.

    You had me there Rourke-I thought this was real for a split second.
    If it was a nuke I might say a prayer and bend over and kiss my behind goodbye-! Arlene

  15. Rourke, I’ve only researched it. Me and my HAM contact stopped talking so to speak. He’s hard to reach or barely responds to me, but he’s got “silver ticket” when comes to working on encrypted radio traffic. I will see what I can dig up for you.

  16. I think I would immediately go to the store (assuming I can), in order to attempt to buy supplies, knowing that my time to do this is limited. Might was well buy it while I can. That’s why I have cash on hand. Without a doubt, a level of panic will set in for me….wondering if what I have is enough….did I miss anything….that time, when everyone is still asleep is vital. I want to make the most of it. Once everyone wakes up, panic will set in quickly.

    After running to the store, my priority is getting my family (who haven’t embraced my preps) into one location. I worry about this more than food and water.

    Next, I connect with the neighbors and try to set up a level of security. To make sure they have a full understanding of what is happening.

    That being said….I don’t feel ready….no matter how much I do/buy… There are things that I’m sure I missed or didn’t plan enough for. Knowing that I will probably never see my youngest daugher (who lives in the Boston area, while I live in Ohio) will be overwhelming. I’m not sure you can “prep” for that….

    • Prepper Granny-Your post really hit home for me. Yes no knowing if or when we will ever see our loved ones who may be away is a really tough reality to grasp.I have pondered it in the past and taking any trips away from home are becoming very rare for us due to impending
      crises. Arlene

      • This is probably everyone’s biggest concern on this site. We live in such a mobile society today, that families are spread out all over the world. My family is scattered from Florida (where I live) to Tennessee, Maine and Nebraska. During a situation like the one described, the chances of all of them making it out alive is slim to none. Keeping in contact will probably be out of the question. We have to accept that there is only so much we can do and hope for the best. I know a couple members of my family who couldn’t tell you one thing that was happening in the world or which channel the news is on. They always seem to have enough money to go to the movies and buy cigarettes, but can’t afford to keep two extra can of beans on the shelf. They are the type that eats out every day or has to stop at the store to pick up something for dinner, generally from the deli.

  17. Check operational status on generator.

    If running, hook up to freezer. Fire up smoker and process all freezer contents ASAP. If NOT running, replace ignition parts, and or repair carburetor. In any event, keep smoker working for next few days.

    Secure plywood to windows. Lockdown remaining house access – including garage (automatic garage doors can be pushed open, otherwise).

    By mid-day, should have rest of group here with hardware, storage items/food/ammo.

    Get parallel well pump installed. (manual pump).

    continue, day to day.

  18. I read a blog post a while back about how life would be after an EMP or major solar flare. Some will have planned with faraday cages and generators with stabilized fuel. But, that all eventually runs out. Life will turn into life in the early 1800’s which amounted to hard back breaking work, ranching and farming. The homestead life without the modern conveniences will be a hard life. You have stored food for a year? What happens after that? 2 years, 3 years…Even if I was prepped for longer than a year, surviving more than that is a roll of the loaded dice and your chances are actually slim.
    I would arm up first and set a watch schedule….it won’t take long for scum to figure out what’s up. Take inventory of everything. No GENERATOR operation, it’ll draw people to the noise like moths to the porch light. Get a crop in the ground, window boxes inside too, try to extend what food storage you have. Monitor Ham radio, CB and GMRS/FRS to see who is saying what( watching signal strength to get a rough idea of the proximity) LOW profire….go to half ration diet to emulate the starving masses.

    • Very true, you can’t be driving around or lighting up house wit every light, running the A/C, your neighbors will kill you for your resources within days! That’s why I’m a bug out guy, first and foremost, you must get away from all people! Then your two year food supply will get you through the worst of it all, fema predicts we will loose 90% of the population in the first year, the other 10% will be two sides of the coin, the prepared and the scum of the earth, this is where I will network to find more prepared like minded folks and try to rebuild and farm, but the first year, I’m going to stay away from everyone if possible, I’ll have no garden, stay in a abandoned looking building, cave, or whatever would not look interesting to the tens of thousands of raiders wondering from one place to another looking for resources, us preppers will be hunted and sought out for our resources, even your nicesest neighbor will try to kill you if he’s starving, people will empty resources in cities in days, they will quickly start looking for farms, ect

  19. Agree with you Boyscout57 and Doomsday…..last thing you want to do is draw any unwanted attention or what you have will no longer be what you have, could get you dead fast too. Arlene, Prepper Granny and those of you thinking of family living out of your area i totally am in the same boat. This will get ugly and i hope the momma bear in me is expressed in the most beneficial way possible and won’t end up being detrimental to those who ARE with me or those i pray will join us. The half rations will accomplish the need to look like the rest of the populace and stretch supplies farther. However, most of you who have prepared will have something that those who have not prepared won’t. That is the leadership needed to hold it all together and….well, lead. What a fine line to walk….most of you all are the kind of people i wished lived next door in my small community. It will take carefully watching how things transpire to get it right…..

  20. Sometimes we grow so accustomed to the way life seems, we lose sight of how little we REALLY are in control of. NONE of us are getting out of this life alive. As i grow older, i experience the normal challenges everyone else does. Looking down the road i see more challenges coming.(My husband says it doesn’t look too pretty for any of us….)Seems like the hard things we go through make it easier to loosen our grip on this life and be ready to walk through the door that death represents. That is not how we are hardwired though. We are programmed to try anything we can to survive and thrive AND make sure our children and grandchildren have the best chance possible to carry on the legacy…. doesn’t mean i ever stop trying.

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